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Hothouse Flowers

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Biography

Dublin, Ireland (1985 – present)

Hothouse Flowers is an Irish rock group that combines traditional Irish music with influences from soul, gospel and rock.

The group first formed in 1985 when Liam Ó Maonlaí and Fiachna ó Braonáin (who had known each other as children in a Gaelic-speaking school) began performing as street musicians, or buskers, on the streets of Dublin, Ireland as “The Incomparable Benzini Brothers.” They were soon joined by Peter O’Toole, and had won a street-entertainer award within a year. They renamed the group “Hothouse Flowers” and began writing songs and performing throughout Ireland. Rolling Stone magazine called them “the best unsigned band in Europe.”

In 1986 Bono from the band U2, saw the Flowers performing on television and offered his support. They released their first single, “Love Don’t Work This Way”, on U2’s Mother Records label, which quickly led to a deal with the PolyGram subsidiary London Records.

Their first album, People was released in early 1988 and was the most successful debut album in Irish history. It reached the number one slot in Ireland within a week and eventually reached number 2 in the UK Albums Chart. The international success of the album received a great boost when a music video for the first single, “Don’t Go”, was played in the interval between contestants and the scoring in the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest.

The second album, Home was released in June of 1990. It was recorded sporadically whilst in the midst of extensive touring; with sessions in Dublin, London, a rented house with a mobile recording set-up in Carlow, Ireland, and one day of work with Daniel Lanois in New Orleans, whilst Bob Dylan was taking a break from his sessions with Lanois.

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